AFC West areas of improvement

November, 27, 2008
11/27/08
1:00
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

Here is one area that each AFC West team needs to improve in this week:

Denver
Safety play:
The Broncos have been flip-flopping safeties all season and they have been especially busy with Marlon McCree injured. Rod Rogers (who was cut Tuesday) replaced Calvin Lowry last week. Still, there was no spark. Denver coach Mike Shanahan said this week he is waiting for someone who can anchor the defense. It hasn't happen and it is hurting both the run and pass defense.

Kansas City
Allow fewer points:
This one is easy. Kansas City allowed Buffalo to score 54 points on Sunday. It was a Kansas City record for most points allowed Kansas City has allowed 84 points in the past two games. Yes, the Chiefs' defense is both young and injured but this is silly. The Chiefs play Oakland's offense, which until Sunday against Denver has been terrible. It has to find a way to stop letting teams run all over them.

Oakland
Throw more:
It's petty difficult to poke holes in what Oakland did last week in Denver. So we may be stretching here. Quarterback JaMarucs Russell threw the ball just 11 times. Yes, he completed 10 of those passes but if Oakland is going have balance in its offense, it needs to throw more.

San Diego
Don't break down late on defense:
Ron Rivera has made San Diego's defense better in the past three weeks since he took over as the coordinator for Ted Cottrell. Still, the Chargers are breaking down late on defense. In each of the past three games, opponents scored in the final minute. The only time San Diego won was when Kansas City finale to convert a two-point conversion. This defense has tightened when it counts.

Bill Williamson | email

ESPN San Francisco 49ers reporter

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